Solaris SGD Remote Linux Desktop

ThinLinc as an alternative to Oracle’s Secure Global Desktop

Oct, 03, 23


On August 1st 2013, Oracle announced that it would be ending the development of its popular Sun Ray client devices, with final orders to be placed by February the following year. At the same time, they announced that full support for all Sun Ray software and Oracle VDI would end in 2017. According to a document published on the Oracle support forum as part of the announcement: “Going forward, Oracle’s desktop portfolio investments will be focused on continued development and new enhancements to both Oracle Secure Global Desktop and Oracle VM VirtualBox software”.

Just over a decade on, Oracle’s Secure Global Desktop (SGD) still appears to be alive and kicking, along with their proprietary UNIX operating system Solaris. But with the constant push towards cloud-based solutions, how much longer do these products have left? It’s no secret that Oracle is setting its sights on the cloud, and Solaris has had development resources diverted away from it to focus on other things.

A Sustainable SGD Replacement and Successful Migration

When Oracle discontinued the Sun Ray thin clients, we helped countless companies with their transition to Linux-powered thin clients running ThinLinc. We strongly believe ThinLinc to be a competent replacement of SGD if the primary use case is publishing Linux desktops and applications. Therefore, we have implemented the ThinLinc SGD Exchange Program, an incentive program offering benefits and even more competitive pricing when migrating from SGD to ThinLinc.

Here at Cendio we are well aware of Sun Microsystems legacy of providing software that is secure, stable, and easy to maintain. We also understand that migrating away from a critical infrastructure product that has worked well for more than a decade has its fair share of risks and uncertainties. We strive to make such migrations as easy and painless as possible. With a world-class support team and a development team with a strong focus on security, stability and ease of maintenance, we strive to check the same set of boxes as Sun Microsystems in terms of providing top of the line infrastructure products. ThinLinc has been around since 2003 and is here to stay!

The ThinLinc server supports all major Linux distributions, including Oracle Linux and Red Hat Enterprise Linux, which are also supported on the SGD server-side. This opens up a great migration path where SGD instances running on Solaris can first be migrated to Oracle Linux/Red Hat Enterprise Linux. As of publishing this article, we have several ongoing SGD to ThinLinc migrations. Over the years, our support and presales staff have gained a lot of experience migrating away from Sun infrastructure. They are available to assist you on your migration journey.

What ThinLinc Brings to the Table for SGD Users

ThinLinc is centered around publishing Linux desktops while also supporting publishing of individual Linux applications. Given that your SGD use case is centered around centralized Linux computing, ThinLinc is a drop-in replacement. Just like SGD, ThinLinc offers desktop clients for Linux, Mac, and Windows while also providing a web browser client with first-class support for hand-held devices. Additionally, out of the box, ThinLinc’s native client supports two-way audio redirection and local drive redirection (ThinLinc’s equivalent of SGD’s client drive mapping).

From a security standpoint, ThinLinc also uses SSH as the underlying secure transport. In terms of authentication mechanisms, ThinLinc supports many of the same protocols as SGD and will likely fit straight into your existing infrastructure. A few of the supported authentication mechanisms include public key, Kerberos, password authentication against an LDAP server (for example Active Directory), and smart card authentication.

In contrast to SGD, ThinLinc is priced per concurrent session instead of per named user. What this means in practice is that ThinLinc requires fewer licenses per actual user. On top of this, ThinLinc offers significantly better TCO compared to SGD (and other products in the segment).

Safe and Secure

ThinLinc has a strong focus on security, both in terms of the product itself and any data being accessed within it. Based on established open-source projects such as OpenSSH and TigerVNC, ThinLinc provides a degree of transparency not available in other solutions. All data between the client and server is encrypted using either SSH or SSL, making it safe to use even over untrusted networks. Features such as clipboard and local drive redirection can be disabled by the administrator, ensuring that no sensitive data leaves the server.

Although ThinLinc can be installed and run in the cloud, it is very much at home on-prem. ThinLinc integrates well with existing infrastructure such as LDAP and NFS, using standard Linux utilities and tools. This provides an extra physical layer of security for sensitive data, giving control over the entire installation.


This year, ThinLinc celebrates 20 years of existence: a testament to its reliability and robustness, and the dedication Cendio has to supporting its product. Based on trusted open-source components, ThinLinc is free and unrestricted for up to 10 concurrent users. If you’re looking to replace your existing remote desktop solution, download ThinLinc and give it a try. Our support and presales staff are here to help with your proof of concept and migration.

Feature Comparison

Features Secure Global Desktop ThinLinc
Server-Side Platforms Windows, Linux, Solaris, etc. Linux
Load Balancing Yes Yes
GPU Acceleration Partial Yes (with VirtualGL)
Native Client Platforms Solaris, Linux, Windows Linux, macOS, Windows
Web Browser Client Yes Yes
Printer Redirection Yes Yes
Local Drive Redirection Yes (with Enhancement Module) Yes
Audio Redirection Yes (with Enhancement Module) Yes
Clipboard Redirection Yes Yes
Pricing Model Paid Paid with free version

SGD Exchange Program (SEP)

Replace your Oracle Secure Global Desktop, with the industry-proven and most capable Linux Remote Computing tools on the market! Cendio AB offers the ThinLinc SEP to all organizations using Oracle Secure Global Desktop. The ThinLinc SEP is open until 2024-06-30.

Two alternative offers are available, they cannot be combined:

  1. ThinLinc completely of charge during your remaining SGD subscription period when committing to a 36 month ThinLinc Subscription Agreement.

    Example: Your current SGD subscription ends 2024-12-31. Replace to ThinLinc today and start paying your ThinLinc subscription first of January 2025.

  2. A direct discount on the official ThinLinc Subscription pricing:
    • First year: 50% discount
    • Second year: 25% discount

For organizations that choose to join the SEP, Cendio will offer up to 10 hours of consultation for installation and integration of ThinLinc.

For further information, please contact us at